Avery Brewing Company

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American Imperial Stout
4.45 | pDev: 6.07%
Avery Brewing Company
Colorado, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Notes: Stout aged in Bourbon barrels with coffee, cocoa, cocoa nibs, and vanilla beans.
Reviews: 95 | Ratings: 449 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of bluejacket74
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, bottled on APR 25 2016. Served in a snifter, the beer pours dark brown/black with about an inch tan head. Head retention is good and there's a decent amount of lacing. I like the aroma a lot, the brew smells like bourbon, vanilla, cocoa, coffee, brown sugar, molasses and some roasted malt. Taste is similar to the aroma, with bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, cocoa, toffee, oak, coffee and some dark fruit noticeable too. It's a mostly sweet tasting brew. Still a little boozy, but not as much as I thought it would be for being 17.4% ABV. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's creamy and coating with a moderate amount of carbonation. I thought this was a pretty good imperial stout overall, glad I picked this one up! $11.99 a bottle.

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Photo of stortore
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into a snifter. Bottled 4/25/16, had 5/10/18.

Pours a dark cola color, somewhat opaque, with a half inch quickly dissipating head and some soapy lacing. Aromas of bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, oak, toffee, cocoa, brown sugar, molasses, char, malt, some coffee, light figs. Smells great. And it tastes great, too- bourbon, lots of chocolate, vanilla, caramel, oak, malt, some molasses, light cocoa and coffee. A fair amount of alcohol when warm, a touch sweet, a light bitterness on the finish. Smooth for the crazy ABV, a good medium to full body, appropriately carbonated.

What a great beer, so much depth of flavors and aromas. All the add ins show well, but the chocolate is the headliner- so expressive in both the aroma and flavor. The bourbon barrels are really the difference maker, though. Just terrific. Wish I knew whose barrels they used.

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Photo of StraightNoChaser
4.71/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

look: deep dark like a stout ought to be. Some ruby highlights when held to light, otherwise not much light getting through this monster.
smell: vanilla bourbon mocha fudge! Rich, decadent goodness.
taste: Ditto. All the flavors in the nose. Dangerously easy drinker.

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Photo of AlarmClock314
4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle, dated 4/25/16, 17.4% ABV. Appears brownish black with a smaller sized khaki head. Smells of vanilla, cocoa, whiskey, oak, roasted malt, oxidization, dark fruit, earthy hops, and licorice. The taste follows with cocoa, vanilla, whiskey, oak, oxidation, dark fruit, roasted malt, earthy hops, and licorice. Medium bitterness, dryness, and tartness with some light sweetness. The flavor profile has mellowed some but the alcohol is still very present. Better after it warmed up. Average body and carbonation for the style. Overall, even though its past its prime it still has a complex cocoa, vanilla, barrel, and bitter/tart profile.

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Photo of Rimbimhoot
4.49/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Black, dark brown that lets some light through around edges, thin head around edge
S: Vanilla, milk chocolate, bourbon, fruity coffee, light oxidation, caramel, cacoa nibs, light roast, marshmallow, dark fruit, maple
T: Vanilla, bourbon, marshmallow, milk chocolate, fruity and bitter coffee nicely integrated, sweet, caramel, dark chocolate, alcohol, very rich
M: Thick and creamy with nice carbonation
O: This is a big beer which has held up very well with about 2 years. The adjuncts are all still present with the vanilla at the forefront. Occasionally the 17% shows but many sips drink well under that abv. These big abv beers do seem to have great complexity in both aroma and taste. Vanilla is the star initially but then ducks back to let the other several flavors jump out

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Photo of Ottoj55
4.28/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

So so black with almost no head, the briefest of brown foam formed. No lacing, the beer is so heavy it sticks to the glass rather like wine. Smells like chocolate and vanilla, like someone added chocolate sauce to the beer but without overwhelming the beer itself. Tastes like chocolate milk, hints of vanilla, hints of coffee, not a lot of oak, bourbon is subdued. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy but not cloying or sticky. The mouthfeel is the only real complaint, the high ABV makes it a bit to hot even after a year in the cellar. Overall its fantastic, the kind of big stout worth drinking.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.32/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a two finger light brown head that fades slowly leaving a good lace. Black color, no highlights. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Bourbon, vanilla and coffee nose and flavor follows, bourbon, oak, coffee, hops are hidden. Very high ABV, 17.4%, is noticeable but not overpowering. Expensive at $14.95 for a 12oz bottle, bottled 4/25/2016 from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of Radcpa
4.37/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vary dark appearance with little tan head. Very strong vanilla and chocolate aroma. Nice vanilla and chocolate taste with a slight Bourbon without any alcohol aftertaste.

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Photo of C_Pel
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Unbelievably complex flavor and aroma; depth of character is pristine. That being said, at 17.4%, it's a little too hot on the alcohol side for me. Absolutely worth the price of admission, but it's not being logged as a favorite.

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Photo of Prager62
4.56/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A 12oz. bottle dated 4-26-16 from No.36 of the barrel aged series poured in my Avery snifter.

Look- Pours a thick dark brown leaving a few centimeters of tan foam. It settles quickly to a thin ring with some thin spotty lacing left behind.

Smell- Bourbon, sweet vanilla, bakers chocolate, faint coffee and oak.

Taste- Coffee, bourbon, oak, dark chocolate and a touch of vanilla.

Feel- A rather thin and light feel with considerable alcohol burn from the monster 17.4% abv. that nearly a year in the bottle couldn't cool.

Overall- A wonderful monstrous sipper of a beer after 11 months. There's still a solid coffee presence hanging around despite the time elapsed since bottling. My biggest 'disappointment' was the thin look and feel, otherwise this is a world class barrel aged beer worth the significant price point. I would imagine this cellars well with the 17.4% abv.

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Photo of jngrizzaffi
4.79/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours a pitch black color with a thin foamy head. Retention is mild as is lacing. Awesome aroma. Big bourbon aroma. Strong on coco with mild vanilla. Bigger bourbon taste with vanilla smoothness. Great chocolate aftertaste with some mild java. Awesome, awesone, awesome.

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Photo of HorseheadsHophead
4.85/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

L: Mostly pitch black, with dark brown edges. The head is a bubbly light brown that quickly fizzes away. A thin ring remains that occasionally leaves spotty lacing.

S: Hugely intense, rich, and deep bourbon, charred oak, roast and caramelized sugars. Bourbon fumes and spice, with charred oak and burnt wood, but smoothly tamed by butterscotch, brown sugar, caramel, toasted coconut, toasted marshmallow, lots of sweet maple syrup, creamy vanilla smoothness, toasted bread, and chocolates.

T: Huge sweetness and complexity, punctuated by powerful bourbon barrel character. Chocolate syrup and bitter cocoa, with maple syrup, toasted coconut, toasted marshmallow, and caramel. Tons of butterscotch candy, rounded by creamy vanilla. Hints of candied figs and burnt raisins. Toasted bread and faint coffee roast, like a mocha or coffee candy. Near the finish, you're punched by a warm spike of bourbon spice, charred oak, and smoke, which ends quickly as it dries out with intense oak tannins. Feels warming going down, but drinks scarily easy for almost being as strong as liquor.

F: Medium-light, but rich, oily, and sticky; full of tannins and almost wine-like characteristics, with just enough carbonation to let it move nicely.

O: One of the best bourbon barrel aged stouts ever? It's so rich, complex, sweet, and delectable. Like a good espresso, dessert wine, liquor, and beer rolled into one. Absolutely amazing.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.54/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2016 bottle poured into a tulip

A- pours a deep brown color with just a bit of light creeping through, thin creamy khaki colored head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- aroma opens with roasted marshmallow and vanilla cream, followed by cocoa nibs and dark chocolate. Undertones of coffee, toffee, oaky bourbon barrel & booze. Smells very similar to Chocolate Rain

T- huge sweet notes of chocolate and cocoa nibs up front are quickly followed by a bit hit of marshmallow cream and vanilla bean. Mid-palate gives some earthy and herbal coffee notes that seems to enhance the chocolate, which plays out in a tootsie-roll-like manner. The finish gives the bourbon barrel, though subtle, as it adds notes of oak, caramel and light bourbon. Lingers of more chocolate & vanilla and booze

M- medium body with moderate carbonation leads to a slightly foamy mouthfeel that turns into a chewy finish with some alcohol warmth on the linger, surprisingly not as hot as expected

O- big vanilla sweetness throughout but not cloying at all, as it works very well with the cocoa. This i probably the easiest drinking 17% beer I've had, very good

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Photo of 57md
4.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep dark brown with copper edges and very little head. The nose is a pleasing blend of bourbon and molasses. The mouthfeel is sticky and the primary flavor note is sweet. The sweetness comes from the vanilla combined with an almost cola-like note. The bourbon comes on near the finish.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.73/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Coffee black with burnt ruby edges and a loud fizzy, puffy head that dies off to a spotty film.

Smell is seems bready at first but I don't know where that ran off too. Then chocolate syrup, booze, and sticky bourbon lead to an almost Old Fashioned smell with hints of cherry in the vanilla.

Taste is sweet oak, bourbon syrup, chocolate syrup, vanilla, sweet coffee, and hot booze.

Feel is soft, fizzy, slick, thick, sticky, and hot!

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.48/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

About 9 months old, so expecting the vanilla and coffee to have faded...

The coffee (I assume) has faded, but there's plenty of vanilla and cocoa to go around... its a big, boozy stout - and it comes off a little thin, which I find typical of Avery - but I enjoyed drinking it and taking in the layers of flavor.

Ends with loads of vanilla, but the sweetness is not overwhelming... more like baking vanilla than a vanilla milkshake.

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Photo of Franziskaner
4.02/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black in color with no light penetration. There's a fingernail of creamy brown around the rim and half of the top. The aroma is of coffee,chocolate, and vanilla. I'm tasting sweet bourbon, chocolate, and coffee. The mouth is thick,chewy, and warm with alcohol.

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Photo of edthehead
4.5/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark dark brown almost black, with very little head nor retention. Bourbon leads on the nose, and the palate with sweet molasses flavors in the background. Moderate mouthfeel and strong carbonation. Real decent brew, right up there with Uncle Jacobs and Tweak.

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Photo of JLK7299
4.71/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This may be my personal favorite bourbon barrel aged Stout. The bourbon taste is there but not overwhelming. The cocoa really sticks with you after each sip. Very drinkable. Wish it was more available in my area.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

04/2016 bottling served chilled in a snifter

Appearance: very dark chestnut brown with a thin head that vanished under the pressure of the high ABV. Very clear

Nose: chocolate, coffee, char, bourbon, booze, vanilla, sweet candy and malts,

Taste: huge but not as big as I would have thought. The mouthfeel is more like a 10% beer and the 17% ABV is very understated. Sweet vanilla and malts mix with a solid bourbon note and some char and astringency from the coffee maybe. Chocolate is also dominant. This is a very big beer but has the grace and balance of a 12 or 13% beer.

Overall: So glad I got to try this one. It is Avery big barrel aged beers at their best.

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Photo of jws7968
4.84/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours black with nice lacing. Vanilla and coffee forward. Taste is very much the same, with a good boozy flavor. Nice feeling beer that I would drink any time it was available.

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Photo of usforeignpolicy
4.77/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer is INTENSE. Overwhelming and unyielding, it punches you in the mouth, then slides down your throat rather unrelentingly, kind of burns the whole way down. This is not one of those beers that 'hides' it's ABV well - it comes across STRONG.

but - WHO CARES! Bourbon is strong - so a 17% beer that is aged in bourbon barrels is allowed to be a bit punishing.

The flavor. oh lord the flavor. TONS of bourbon, oak and chocolate, over the top of a thick, hot mess of flavors underneath. it's actually so hot i thought maybe it was a chile beer - but as far as I can tell it's not. I bet this beast will age well and mellow out.

At Avery they told me it was a mix of Mephistopheles and Uncle Jacob's stout, with cocoa and vanilla added and then aged in bourbon barrels. both those beers are incredible, and so is this one. i doubt you can find it anymore, maybe next April?

(ps - Mephistopheles is getting EOL'd. All the demon brews are. get some while you can)

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Photo of Mongrel
4.37/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks great in a glass - deep and dark with a creamy mocha colored head that hangs around for a while.

Not getting a ton on the nose. It's pleasant and chocolatey, with notes of caramelized sugar and bourbon.

The palate unrolls in a melange of rich flavors - toffee, chocolate, caramel, vanilla, dates, and mellow bourbon. There's root beer spice that veers more towards an earthy chile on the finish. The deeper you go, the deeper and more opulent the chocolate flavor becomes.

Magnificent creamy vanilla milkshake mouthfeel. Really remarkable for a beer of this gravity.

Overall a truly luxurious brew that hides its ABV better than most in Avery's gold leaf series that I've tried.

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Photo of wulfie85
4.12/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Really great stout here. Makes it even better that it is easy to find. Good mouth feel with a decent stout nose. All the adjunct flavors mesh well with the stout flavor to create an excellent beer to drink and enjoy. Very clean finish as wel

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Photo of kevanb
3.63/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled on April 25, 2016, poured into an Avery stemmed brandy glass. Enjoyed on 10.10.16, reviewed from Tasting Journal.

The beer pours a deep jet black color, oily, inky and opaque with a thin tan head, little retention and no lace. The aroma is really boozy, bitter chocolate, vanilla, light coffee, tons of bourbon, oak, charred and roasted grain lingers with the barrel. The flavors are pretty intense, lots of alcohol, harsh and hot, chocolate and light coffee roast, vanilla, stone fruits, charred oak barrel, warm bourbon and some chalkiness. It's a monster beer that doesn't really offer much in the way of smoothness, really pummeling with the barrel and alcohol presence. The body is a bit thin yet coating, sharper carbonation and very warm from the high alcohol content with a sturdy finish that is very hot.

Verdict: A decent barrel aged stout from Avery, but not one of their better efforts. Just too much heat, too much barrel, too much everything. It was a nice dessert beer, lots of rich flavors, but just too intense for my palate, could've used a bit of smoothness and rounding out around the edges.

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Callipygian from Avery Brewing Company
Beer rating: 98 out of 100 with 449 ratings